Interview Questions: Relocation.

Why do you want to relocate?

Alternative and related questions:

For what reasons does the idea of relocation appeal to you?

The meaning behind the question:

There’s nothing sneaky about this question.  The interviewer just wants to establish what your motivations are in being prepared to relocate for this job and to get some insight into your decision-making processes, i.e. they want to establish that you really have thought through this issue.

Your answer:

So why do you want to relocate?  Is it just because this job is an opportunity too good to be missed?  Is it because relocating will take you closer to certain family or friends?  Has your ‘other half’ perhaps had to relocate to the same destination?  Maybe it’s because you have children and you want them to be closer to better schools/the countryside/the seaside.  There are many possibly reasons why you might wish to relocate.

But there’s only one correct answer to this question – and that’s to explain that your primary reason for relocating is because of the fantastic opportunity you feel this job represents.  You can, of course, go on to support this with other reasons if appropriate.  But your main goal is to demonstrate to the interviewer your enthusiasm for the role for which you are applying.

Example:

I principally want to locate quite simply because of the excellent opportunity I feel this role within your organization represents.  I am very interested in the role and believe that it warrants my relocation.  In this respect alone, the benefits outweigh any possible downside.  Furthermore, my sister and her family live in Hampshire and I’d certainly like to move to be closer to them and I’d also like for my children to be closer to them too.  There are also some very good local schools.  I’ve given it a good deal of thought, of course, but everything points towards it being the right decision.

Word of warning:

Don’t say anything which might lead them to believe that you’re only relocating because you feel it’s being forced on you.  Ensure you portray it as a positive decision on your part.

Can you perceive any problems in relocating?

Alternative and related questions:

Are you willing to relocate if necessary?
Are you willing to go where the organization sends you?

The meaning behind the question:

This could be a reasonably straightforward factual question if relocation is an obvious prerequisite for the job.  On the other hand, if no mention has previously been made of relocation then either the organization has failed to communicate effectively or the interviewer is trying to put you on the spot again!

Your answer:

If you’re aware of the need to relocate in order to undertake this new job then your answer just needs to cover that fact and to emphasize that you’re fully prepared and ready for this and that you certainly don’t perceive it causing any problems.  If you can mention a previous instance where you’ve had to relocate for a new job (or while working for another organization) then all the better.  If not then just say you’ve carefully thought the matter through and you’re entirely happy with the prospect.

If this is the first time you’ve heard mention of the possibility of relocation then your answer is somewhat trickier.  First of all, you should point out that this is the first you’ve heard of it and then you should go on to explain that it’s something you would be prepared to consider.  It may be that there’s no way you would ever contemplate relocating but telling the interviewer this is going to weaken your case, regardless of whether they are seriously requiring you to relocate or not.  Remember that if you are required to relocate but you decide you really don’t want to then you can simply turn down their offer of a job.  But your first priority is to actually make sure you get an offer!

Example:

I haven’t actually been previously made aware that relocation was a possibility.  It hasn’t been mentioned to me.  However, it’s nonetheless something that I would be prepared to consider.  This role within your organization is very appealing and, if offered the job, I may well decide that it would warrant relocating.  It would of course depend on your offer and on the precise circumstances.  Can you tell me a little bit more about this issue of relocation please?  I can then give it some further thought.